Malaria: a threat and a challenge

April 25, 2024 is World Malaria Day.”Join hands to prevent malaria and build a malaria-free future”.



When it comes to malaria, we have to mention Tu Youyou, a famous pharmacologist who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. She is the winner of the Medal of the Republic and the first Nobel Prize winner in medicine in China. Tu Youyou’s research achievements have not only made breakthroughs in the field of traditional Chinese medicine, but also provided important drugs for the global fight against malaria.

In 2015, Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “putting forward the therapy of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin by combining traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine”. The artemisinin compound drug developed by Tu Youyou’s team, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the preferred drug for malaria treatment, is a miracle drug that can cure hundreds of millions of malaria cases worldwide every year.


In the 1990s, more than half of China’s population was at risk of malaria infection, with 30 million cases of malaria reported annually and 300,000 deaths. After 70 years of active prevention and control, the number of malaria cases in China has decreased year by year, and the epidemic range has gradually become smaller. China reported its last locally originated malaria case in 2016. On June 30, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced that China had passed the certification of eliminating malaria (no local malaria transmission for three consecutive years). China has become the first country in the WHO’s Western Pacific region to be certified malaria-free in more than 30 years. To achieve this historic moment, artemisinin has played a vital role.



Artemisinin, as a specific antimalarial drug, plays an important role in the treatment of malaria. Artemisinin mainly kills malaria parasites in red blood cells and is an effective means of treating malaria at present. The discovery and application of artemisinin has saved millions of lives, and the World Health Organization has recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy as the standard treatment for malaria. In China and the world, there are many antimalarial drugs extracted from artemisinin, which have strong killing power against malaria and relatively low drug resistance.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium. It is mainly transmitted by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes carrying malaria parasites. In addition, it can be transmitted by blood transfusion (transfusion of blood with malaria parasites) or mother-to-child transmission. Malaria is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, especially in tropical and subtropical areas such as Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the morbidity and mortality of malaria are very high, so malaria is one of the typical tropical diseases. The occurrence of malaria not only brings great suffering to the physical and mental health of patients, but also brings a heavy burden to the local social and economic development.


What is Plasmodium?

Plasmodium is a group of protozoa that are unicellular and obligate parasites in vertebrates (including humans) and arthropods, belonging to Plasmodiidae under Apicomplexa. They are the causative agents of malaria, a serious tropical disease. There are four main types of Plasmodium parasites in humans: Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium ovale. During the development of malaria parasites in red blood cells, they will go through trophozoites and other stages, and their morphology will also change significantly. Different types of Plasmodium have different incubation periods, for example, the incubation period of Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale is 13 to 15 days, while the incubation period of Plasmodium falciparum is between 7 and 12 days. The life cycle of malaria parasites in red blood cells also affects the interval between fever and chills.

What are the main symptoms of malaria?

Malaria is also known as “cold and hot disease”, “swing” and “hair malaria”. Its clinical manifestations are varied, typical symptoms are periodic attacks, manifested as intermittent chills, fever, sweating and fever in three consecutive stages, sometimes causing splenomegaly and anemia. Severe malaria patients can suffer from brain, liver, kidney and other organ damage, and can cause circulatory system, respiratory system and even multi-system failure, even life-threatening.



Can malaria be cured?

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, and the key lies in early diagnosis, correct selection of antimalarial drugs and ensuring the completion of treatment. Early diagnosis and standard treatment will shorten the course of disease, improve the prognosis and avoid death. If you have a history of living in malaria-endemic areas abroad, once you have chills, fever, gastrointestinal reactions and other discomfort symptoms, you must go to the designated medical institutions for malaria treatment in time, and take the initiative to inform the doctor of your history of living abroad (especially in Africa or Southeast Asia).

Malaria Prevention and Control

The simplest way to prevent malaria is to prevent mosquitoes. Mosquito nets, insecticides and anti-mosquito agents are all effective means of mosquito control. For malaria patients, early diagnosis and treatment of malaria will shorten the course of disease and avoid death, which will help to control malaria. Rapid and accurate diagnosis is a very important part of clinical diagnosis and treatment of malaria. The rapid diagnostic test (RDT) can be used for rapid screening of malaria, especially in remote areas where there is no condition for microscopic examination, and can be used as a primary screening method for clinical malaria. RDT has many advantages, such as fast and convenient, high accuracy, easy operation, high sensitivity and specificity, so that malaria patients can be screened in a simple way, so as to enter the treatment early and avoid life-threatening.

The malaria rapid diagnostic kit independently developed by BoatBio has superior performance, stable product, high sensitivity and strong specificity, and can quickly and accurately screen out whether patients are infected with malaria.

BoatBio Malaria Rapid Test Kit




How to prevent malaria?

1. Control of the source of infection: Patients with malaria and people with malaria parasites must be cured in time to prevent the spread of the disease. The establishment of an effective epidemic reporting system is essential to control the source of infection.

2. Cut off the transmission route:

  • Mosquito elimination: Malaria is mainly transmitted through mosquito bites, so eliminating the environment where mosquitoes breed and killing mosquito adults and larvae is the key to preventing the spread of malaria. Mosquitoes can be controlled by cleaning up water, empty cans, tires and other mosquito breeding sites, and using insecticides.
  • Personal protection: Avoid outdoor activities during the peak of mosquito activity. If you have to go out in the field, you should wear long-sleeved clothes and apply mosquito repellent on exposed skin. When sleeping, use mosquito nets, mosquito incense and insecticides to prevent mosquitoes.


3. Improving the disease resistance of the population: Although some progress has been made in the development of malaria vaccines, the development of vaccines is still facing great difficulties due to the diversity of malaria parasite antigens. Therefore, at present, comprehensive preventive measures are mainly used to improve the disease resistance of the population.

4.Preventive medication: In malaria-endemic areas, preventive medication is prescribed to reduce the risk of infection. However, it should be noted that preventive medication should be carried out under the guidance of doctors, and should not be taken excessively for a long time.


Malaria is a silent disaster that poses a great threat to human health and socio-economic development. We need a global effort to meet this challenge by strengthening prevention, control and treatment measures, as well as improving public health awareness and self-protection. Only in this way can we effectively reduce the spread and harm of malaria and protect human health and well-being.

Post time: Apr-26-2024

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